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Beading Calisthenics: Zen Needle Threading

Posted by learntobead on April 21, 2020

Beading Calisthenics

Beading requires a lot of mind-body coordination. That takes work. It is work.

Calisthenics are exercises you can do to improve and tone your mind-body coordination when bead weaving.

You have to be able to get from your fingers to the needle to the beads, back along the thread to the needle to the fingers, hands, arms, eyes, mind. And then again. And again. Over and over, one more time. You need to get into a rhythm. All these working parts need to be working. No time for cramping. No time to get tired. No time to lose concentration.

A rhythm. Needle, pick up bead, pull down along thread, check the tension, pick up a bead, pull down along thread, check the tension, pick up a bead….

I noticed that different instructors had various techniques and strategies for maintaining this rhythm. Yes, music was involved sometimes. Othertimes simple meditation or creative reading and discourse. Some people had some stretching exercises that they did. Others tested themselves before proceeding with their big project. Still others did small things to reconfirm their learning.

Throughout this Series, I introduce some of the beading calisthenics that I experienced along the way. If you want to gather materials up so that you can follow along with these calisthenics, here’s the list.

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR 
 ALL THE CALISTHENIC EXERCISES
 (SUPPLY LIST):

notebook, pencil
 1 tube each of Japanese 11/0 seed beads in gray, 3 different colors of orange, black, white, any other 4 colors
 1 tube each of Japanese 8/0 seed beads in gray or silver, black, white, orange, any other 4 colors
 1 tube each of Japanese 6/0 seed beads in gray or silver, black, white, orange, any other 4 colors
 5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads
 Nymo D or C-Lon D thread in black
 Nymo D or C-Lon D thread in yellow
 two toggle clasps
 .018” or .019” flexible cable wire
 assorted 4mm, 6mm and 8mm beads in various coordinating colors, including grays and oranges in your mix, as well
 big bowl and a bowl-full of assorted beads
 Size 10 English beading needles
 Bees wax
 scissors
 beading dishes or trays
 any kind of graph paper
 work surface or pad
 colored pencils
 a few clasps, (toggles are easy to work with)
 some crimp beads
 crimping pliers

BEADING CALISTHENICS #2: 
Zen Needle Threading

Take a length of Nymo size D thread and a size #10 English beading needle. Thread the needle the way you are accustomed to doing this. Take the thread end, and thread it again. You may have to trim the tip of the thread.

Now try to thread your needle, this time keeping your eyes closed.

Visualize in your mind what you had just seen with your eyes.

Feel with your hands and body what you had just felt with your hands and body.

Unsuccessful? Then try again. Thread the needle twice with eyes open. Close your eyes. Try again. Visualize. Make your body and mind one with the needle and one with the thread.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Pearl Knotting Warren’s Way

Mini Lesson: Making Stretchy Bracelets

Mini Lesson: Making Adjustable Slip Knots With Thicker Cords

Mini Lesson: How To Crimp

Mini Lesson: Attaching End Caps, Cones, Crimp Ends

Mini Lesson: Brick Stitch

Mini Lesson: Flat Even Count Peyote

Mini Lesson: Ndebele Stitch

Mini Lesson: Petersburg Chain

Mini Lesson: Right Angle Weave

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

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